First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
MODERN PHYSICS (Iniziali cognome M-Z)
SCP3051032, A.A. 2018/19

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
SC1158, Degree course structure A.Y. 2014/15, A.Y. 2018/19
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 8.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination MODERN PHYSICS
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Physics and Astronomy
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge FLAVIO SENO FIS/03

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses FIS/03 Material Physics 2.0
Core courses FIS/02 Theoretical Physics, Mathematical Models and Methods 6.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 2nd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Practice 2.0 16 34.0 No turn
Lecture 6.0 48 102.0 No turn

Start of activities 25/02/2019
End of activities 14/06/2019
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2014 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
6 Fisica Moderna (iniziali cognome M-Z) 01/10/2018 30/11/2019 SENO FLAVIO (Presidente)
LECHNER KURT (Supplente)
5 Fisica Moderna (iniziali cognome A-L) 01/10/2018 30/11/2019 MARCHETTI PIERALBERTO (Presidente)
SENO FLAVIO (Membro Effettivo)
LECHNER KURT (Supplente)
4 Fisica Moderna (iniziali cognome M-Z) 01/10/2017 30/11/2018 SENO FLAVIO (Presidente)
LECHNER KURT (Supplente)
3 Fisica Moderna (iniziali cognome A-L) 01/10/2017 30/11/2018 MARCHETTI PIERALBERTO (Presidente)
SENO FLAVIO (Membro Effettivo)
LECHNER KURT (Supplente)

Prerequisites: Mathematical Analysis 1,2,3, Geometry, General Physics 1,2.
Target skills and knowledge: The course highlights the experiments and the theoretical issues underlying the scientific revolution that replaces classical mechanics and electromagnetism with special relativity and quantum mechanics. In the first part we introduce special relativity, discussing its origin, the logic of its structure and the innovative features of its consequences. In the second part we discuss the experimental findings leading to the concept of quantization and we introduce the basis of quantum mechanics and atomic physics.
Examination methods: Written and oral examination
Assessment criteria: To evaluate the understanding of the theoretical concepts and to check the ability of solving exercises related to the topics of the course.
Course unit contents: First Part: Special Relativity. Galilean transformations. Galilean Relativity. Electromagnetism and galilean relativity. The Michelson-Morley experiment. The postulates of Special Relativity. Observers and measures of space and time. Relativity of simultaneity. The Lorentz transformations. The Minkovski diagrams. Invariance of space-time interval. Length contraction. Time dilatation. Light-cones and causality. Composition law for velocities. The Doppler effect. Twin paradox. Four-vectors. The Poincaré group and the Lorentz group. Covariant and controvariant tensors. Metric tensor. Transformation laws for fields. Four-velocity, four-momentum and four-force. Relativistic kinetic energy. Mass-energy equivalence. Relation between energy and momentum. Massless particles. General description of scattering: elastic and inelastic scattering. Kinematical invariants. Two-body elastic scatterings. Decays. Electromagnetic tensor. The Maxwell equations in covariant form. Transformation law for electromagnetic fields. Invariants for electromagnetic fields. Charged particle in electric and/or magnetic constant fields. Four-current for pointlike charged particles.
Second part. The crisis of classical physics: the Photoelectric Effect , Einstein’s Quantum Theory of Photoelectric effect , Photons, Matter Waves and the Davisson-Germer experiment. Compton effect. Young’s interference experiment : the behavior of classical particles, of waves and of quantum particles. Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and its consequences. The black-body spectrum: the Stefan-Boltzmann and Wien’s laws, the Raleigh-Jeans model, Planck’s Postulate and Its Implications. The Cosmic Background Radiation. Atomic Spectra. Rydberg’s formula. Thompson’s model and Rutherford’s model. Bohr’s postulates and their consequences. The Franck-Hertz experiment. Mosley’s law. Properties of basic commutators. Time independent Schrodinger equation and time evolution of the wave function. Born’s interpretation of wave functions. Eigenvalues and eigenfunctions. Expectation values. Infinite square well potential. Quantum tunneling. Quantization of angular momentum. Spin. Wave function for multi-electrons systems. Indistinguishability: the Bose-Einstein and Fermi-Dirac statistics. Pauli exclusion principle. Periodic Table.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Lectures of theory and exercices.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • V. Barone, Relatività. --: Bollati Boringhieri, 2004. Cerca nel catalogo
  • A. Beiser, Concepts of Modern Physics. --: Mc Graw Hill, 2003. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Problem solving
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)